Spring for memory and power Most cameras come with low-capacity memory cards, but make sure to buy an extra one. If the camera doesn’t come with rechargeable batteries, buy them separately, Baldridge says, adding that digital cameras perform poorly with alkaline batteries and go through them very quickly.
Take lots of pictures Once you’ve bought a camera and memory card, shooting a picture costs you nothing until you print it. So make like the paparazzi—take 50 pictures in three minutes, and one of them is bound to be amazing.
Get creative Turn off the flash and let light from a window bring out the soft details in your baby’s skin. Switch to black-and-white mode (if your camera has one) for a sense of drama. Photograph your baby’s hand or foot, a wisp of hair, the tiny fold of skin at her wrist or ankle. And don’t be afraid to fill a frame with your child’s face: Babies are always ready for their close-ups.
Back up often “Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t bother to copy their pictures onto their hard drives or back them up,” Baldridge says. “That’s a mistake.” She recommends creating a filing system on your computer or using photo-organizing software, and frequently making backup copies of your image files on CD or DVD.
Share, share alike When e-mailing pictures to be viewed on screen, reduce the file size (Windows XP and some e-mail software automatically give you this option) so you don’t saddle recipients with long downloads and clogged in-boxes. Computer monitors display all pictures at low resolution; anything higher than 640 pixels by 480 pixels is unnecessary unless the recipient plans on printing the images.